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Dinner Shortcuts

Q: Do you have quick prep meal suggestions for dinner?

A: Luckily, you don’t have to cook elaborate meals to eat healthfully. There are solutions out there for busy families. You’re right to be concerned about all of the processed quick and frozen meals out there on the market. Many of them are not made with healthful ingredients and contain preservatives and additives. Organic, all natural frozen meals such as Kashi™ and Amy’s Organics™ are healthful and tasty options, but can be expensive. Times are busy with work, after school activities and more so think simple and basic.

“Stock your cupboard, refrigerator and freezer with healthful, versatile staples that can be used in simple recipes and take advantage of short cut or partially prepared foods offered by your local supermarket.”

Some examples include: Sweet and russet baking potatoes, whole wheat tortillas, eggs, quick cooking rice, rotisserie chicken (cooked), cubed stew meat, canned light tuna or chicken in water, bagged frozen veggies, shredded carrots/cabbage, bagged lettuce, reduced-fat, shredded cheese, jarred pasta sauces and salsas, seasonings & seasoning packets (taco and Italian).

4 habits that could increase your lifespan significantly...

Scientists say they have found four keys to a longer life (or at least four healthy habits that can add more than a decade to a person’s life). Important news? You bet! Researchers tracked the lives of 20,000 people and found that those who practiced these habits lived an average of 14 years longer. Findings of this study were recently published in the Public Library Science Medical Journal.

For those not engaged in these healthy lifestyle habits, be aware that even small changes go a long way. It doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Scientists identified the four common factors in the lifestyles of the long-lived study participants as:

1. Not smoking.
2. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables (greater than 5 servings/day).
3. Exercising regularly.
4. Drinking alcohol only in moderation.

Even practicing one of these healthy habits can make a big difference, according to researchers. No need to pump iron every day, run marathons or become a vegetarian to reap the benefits and rewards of exercise and increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. In other words, small, incremental changes will make a difference.